According to the new law adopted in 2016, potential presidential candidates must gather the signatures of 500 election officials from around France – the signatures known as “parrainages”, or sponsorship.




“This stops all debates: I will be candidate no matter what,” Melenchon said, as quoted by the Europe 1 radio.


The media added that on January 4, Melenchon collected 480 signatures and received 50 verbal assurances of support.


The first round of the French presidential election is scheduled to take place on April 23, 2017, and the run-off, if needed, would be held in May. The list of candidates includes such politicians as Francois Fillon from The Republicans party, Manuel Valls from the Socialist Party, National Front leader Marine Le Pen, independent candidate Emmanuel Macron, Melenchon and many others.